Awami League League leader Shah Alam, accused of misappropriating government rice during the lockdown in Brahmanbaria, has been awarded for social service. This has drawn huge criticism on social media. On Sunday, deputy commissioner Hayat-Ud-Doula Khan sought a written explanation from the department of social services within 24 hours about how and why the Awami League leader was given such an award.
On the occasion of National Social Service Day, this award was given by the district social service office at a ceremony organised at the district Circuit House on Saturday noon. Deputy director of Brahmanbaria social services department Mahmudul Hasan has been asked by the deputy commissioner to issue a written explanation.
Shah Alam is a resident of Kautli of ward number 10 of the pourashava. He is the industry and commerce secretary of the district Awami League. He is also a member of FBCCI, former general secretary of the Brahmanbaria Red Crescent Society and director of the Brahmanbaria Chamber of Commerce.
According to the District Food Controller's Office, the government decided to run special OMS programme for the unemployed, poor and low-income people in the wake of the coronavirus. It was decided to distribute 20 kg of rice at the rate of Tk 10 per kg every month. The Brahmanbaria pourashava authority, through the ward councilor, prepared a list of 6,000 poor and low-income people, to give OMS rice to 500 people of each of the 12 wards. The list submitted it to the district food control department.
According to the District Food Controller's Office, the list of 6,000 poor and low-income people submitted in the first phase was checked and the names of 91 wealthy people, including Awami League leaders, were found by the District Administration and District Food Controller's Department. In that the list, Shah Alam showed his wife Mamtaz Alam, daughter Afroza, Qatar expatriate brother-in-law's wife Jannatul Islam, another brother-in-law's wife Asma Islam, sister Shamsunnahar, Malaysian expatriate nephew Md. Nasir, brother of Brahmanbaria Transport Workers Association President Selim, Md. Alamgir, brother-in-law Tajul Islam and Shafiqul Islam, sister-in-law Ataur Mia, Lutfur Mia, Mahbub Mia and 22 others, as ultra poor people. Later, the district administration directed the municipality to cancel the names of 91 people including them from the list.
According to administration and local sources, Shah Alam was an OMS dealer. The district OMS committee canceled his dealership on 14 May last year for alleged involvement in irregularities. Besides, on 9 June last year, Sandwip Talukder, executive magistrate of the district administration, seized 31 sacks of TCB products from a grocery store in Kautli area. Lokman Hossain, a grocer arrested at the time, confessed to the media that he had bought the products from Shah Alam, the then dealer of TCB.
Shah Alam told reporters that he did not go to the social welfare office to get the honour. He was given this honour by the Department of Social Services. He has been a social worker trained by the Ministry of Social Welfare since 1998. So the Department of Social Services selected him for this honor.
Mahmudul Hasan, deputy director of the Brahmanbaria social services department, told Prothom Alo that Shah Alam is associated with the National Blind Welfare Society, the government children's family management committee. Besides, he distributed winter clothes a few days ago. He also works for the rehabilitation of the transgender community. He was awarded for this. He said he did not know about the irregularities with the OMS rice during the Covid period.